Sunday, June 13, 2010

When Did England Get Its Own Flag?


Great job by Team USA yesterday in picking up the tie against England. I won't go into any further soccer analysis, as I would become quickly exposed...but it was a fun game to watch.

That said, one thing that was a bit confusing was England's flag. When did they get this thing? Did I miss the launch along with the new Olympic mascots? Thanks to all three Austin Powers movies and the wrestling great former Intercontinental Champion the British Bulldog (RIP,) I had a very strong idea of what flag stood for England. It was the classic blue, red, and white with interlocking crosses also known as the Union Jack.


Then the game begins and this very basic white flag with a red cross come out, in the stands, painted on people's faces. After some heavy Wikipedia research it appears that the Union Jack is for the United Kingdom, which includes England and Scotland. I think we all had a strong feeling that Scotland had their own flag, but not England. At least me, anyway. I guess while we are at it, can we get some clarification? Where is Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and England? Are these all the same place? It appears England is part of the UK, but what about Great Britain? Where are the Beatles from? I no longer know.

Just Google English Flag. The results alternate between the union jack and the cross flag. Clearly I'm not the only confused person.

Any thoughts?

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7 comments:

Himself said...

England was it's own country long before the 1801 Act of Union that created The United Kingdom (which consists of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands). The English flag, known as St. George's Cross dates back to pre-Union days. Since those "home counties" play international sport under their own flags, England suppporters wave that one rather than the Union Jack. One of the rare times you see a that flag at a sporting event is the British and Irish Lions rugby union tours that consist of players from all of Great Britain and Ireland


The Union Jack was designed to incorporate the St George Cross of England, the St Andrew's Cross flag of scotland, and the Red background of the Welsh flag, and is considered the "Official" flag of The United Kingdom. But if you were to ask most people there, they would consider themselves, "Scotish" "English" or "Welsh" first and British second. (unless you're in Northen Ireland - best not get into it here.)

Roto_Tudor said...

...as for "Great Britain", it refers to the main island that consists of Scotland, England and Wales - sometimes referred to as "The British Mainland". This was created in 1707 by the Original Act of Union merging England and Scotland (Wales was largely subjugated by England at that point and was not considered and independent country since the 1300s)

The name goes back to the Roman times, "Britannia" being their name for the province.

tally said...

The red and white stripes in the American flag represent the 13 English colonies. The Cross of St George was the first American flag.

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cljo said...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/27/British_Isles_Venn_Diagram.png

British Venn Diagram!

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